“Behold! The Sonic Sledgehammer! With this tool, any contraption, any device, can be mended with but a few strikes! It may look crude, with its great brass fittings and steam-tubes crisscrossing the hammerhead, but in actuality it is a powerful tool, tuning in on the anti-resonant frequency of any material. As you all know, the resonant frequency causes a material to break; its anti-resonant frequency will mend it!”
Amelia Duchagne could not believe her ears. She was sitting in the audience of the Royal Academy of Science symposium, and up on stage was her arch-rival, Lavender Hutchins, describing an invention that she, Amelia Duchagne, had made years ago!
“Allow me to demonstrate!” continued Lavender, waving dramatically to a broken steam engine. It was quite clearly a wreck: the metal was rusted, the wheels were falling apart, the tubes were ill-fitting and many of the bolts had simply fallen out. With great showmanship, the short scientist raised the great Sonic Sledgehammer above her head, and struck the steam engine. Instantly, ripples could be seen passing through the metal: The rust fell off, the metal straightened and the tubes fit themselves more snugly in their housing.
There was a roar of applause. Many members of the Royal Academy gave her standing ovations. Such a spectacular invention! Such a fantastic contribution to the field of engineering!
Amelia could take it no longer. “I object!” she shouted, rising from her seat. “This is not your invention! I designed the Sonic Sledgehammer, while I was an apprentice under Yvette Seins-Nus!”
“Is that so?” responded Lavender Hutchins with a triumphant smile. “Then how come you never presented it?”
A slight blush came over Amelia's cheeks. “The invention has... certain flaws.” she explained. “I showed it to my teacher, but she deemed it too dangerous. I agreed.”
For a moment, Lavender looked hesitant – Amelia could see, that however she had managed to steal this invention, she knew nothing of its flaws. She rose from her seat, and begun to walk towards the podium.
“I demonstrated it in private before my teacher and a few other prominent French scientists just before I left for England. I had calibrated it to repair a broken lumber mill”, she explained, taking up a watch from a dress pocket and looking at it casually. “The resulting incident was one of the contributing factors in why I came to this country. You see, Dr. Hutchins, there is no such thing as a purely anti-resonant frequency; every frequency resonates with some substances and anti-resonates with others. I would advice you to dismantle the device before anything happens.”
“Nonsense”, replied Dr. Hutchins. “Nothing here has sustained any damage. Besides,” she taunted, “If it were your invention, wouldn't I be disrobed by now?”
“N- not quite,” said Amelia with a slight blush. “The user is quite safe. However-”
She glanced at her pocket watch. “Oh dear.”
There was a sudden sound, as of a muffled explosion. A cloud of fine dust whirled around Amelia: It was all that remained of her clothing. Her hair fell down around her bare shoulders, and as the dust settled, she covered her breasts and crotch with her hands, standing naked like a Greek statue before the crowd. She was blushing like a tomato.
Lavender could not help but laugh. “My dearest Amelia! That this machine undresses you is hardly proof of anything: Why, I'd be hard pressed to find any invention that could not lead to such an incident.”
“It- it isn't me you should worry about.” replied Amelia. “The mass of my clothing alone is not proportional to the mass of your repairs. It should take... about two or three outfits.”
Lavender Hutchins swallowed. Reluctantly, she turned to face the audience. The head lady of the Academy was staring sternly at her.
“You are wearing my replacement dress, Dr. Hutchins.”